DUP stalwart recognised for his service to the Party and community of Ballymena
Updated: Nov 7
Former councillor and mayor Tommy Nicholl MBE presented with certificate by DUP Party Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson
Well-known local man Tommy Nicholl MBE was recognised and celebrated on Friday evening (3rd November) for his outstanding service to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the community of Ballymena.
Surrounded by his close-knit family circle, friends and Party colleagues, including DUP Leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Tommy was honoured for his service and dedication spanning 42 years.
The Ahoghill man was first elected to the chamber of the then Ballymena Borough Council in May 1981 and served faithfully until his retirement earlier this year, becoming the borough's longest serving councillor. Tommy also served two terms as Mayor.
During the evening of speeches, memories and laughes, Tommy was presented with a certificate from Sir Jeffrey which said 'In grateful recognition of your dedicated service to the Democratic Unionist Party as an elected Local Government representative.'
Pictured are (L-R) Ian Paisley MP, Tommy Nicholl MBE, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, Councillor Beth Adger, and Paul Frew MLA
North Antrim MP Ian Paisley accompanied the Party Leader, and said "Tommy Nicholl gave his service freely," and noted that "Tommy was in Sandy Row, Belfast on the night the Party was born in 1971."
Paul Frew MLA recollected that he worked with Tommy on Ballymena Borough Council for a number of years, noting that Party veteran held position as Leader of the DUP on Council, and guided the Party through politically difficult times. As Tommy's deputy, Paul commended his wise leadership at that time.
Long-time friend and Party colleague, Alderman Beth Adger MBE, shared how Tommy got her involved in local government saying, he was "highly respected in the community".
Tommy Nicholl MBE with Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Gerardine Mulvenna
Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Gerardine Mulvenna was delighted to also attend and commented:
“Tommy Nicholl was a gentleman, both inside and outside the Council Chamber. He is fully deserving of this honour.”
Tommy Nicholl MBE accompanied by sons Raymond and Norman
Tommy was visibly touched by this moment of respect by the Party and all those who had gathered for the special evening. Speaking on Friday evening, Tommy Nicholl MBE said:
“My sincere thanks to all of you present today for coming and making this a special occasion for me.
"I make no apology for saying I am a Unionist - one who believes in our precious Union. But I also believe in civil and religious liberty for all citizens, regardless of their religion, colour or creed.
"To my entire family circle - my father and mother, my late wife Ellen, and sons Raymond and Norman, for supporting me; Bannside for remaining loyal to me through 42 years and 11 elections, in closing, thank you and God bless you all."